Gregg Smith, Minot
After reading all the pros and cons of the upcoming school bond vote, it is apparent that something must be done to alleviate the overcrowding taking place in the elementary schools in the district. Portable buildings are not the answer, and the amount of them in use in the district is alarming. I wholeheartedly support the building of an additional elementary school, and the possible renovation of another one to help with this problem.
I do not support the building of another high school. With the likelihood of the loss of 190 students from the South Prairie and Nedrose districts, this staves off the need for this new addition for the foreseeable future. I served for six years on a school board in the eastern part of the state in the '90s. We were faced with a bond issue of our own. It took three attempts to get it passed, and we had to scale it down from a glorious wish list to something more fiscally prudent in order for it to pass. That school district is doing fine today, 15 years after it was passed.
Of course the district will say the loss of 190 students has no impact on its growth forecasts. They know they will have zero chance to get this inflated request passed if they admit it does, but let's be honest, growth forecasts can be manipulated and anyone who can do simple math knows losing 190 students is going to free up space in the high schools. With the taxation demands placed on our citizens from the city, county, park board and school district, every dollar must be examined to see where we can save.
Minot was once a very affordable place to live it is now one of the highest priced cities in the state to live. I was very disappointed when the school board approved the second highest option, when the third highest option would have sufficed. The key here is not what we would all love to have, but what do we need to alleviate overcrowding and provide a safe and high quality education for our children.